Petrale Sole with Lemon, Parsley and Capers

Many times I am asked the question, “how do I cook fish?” People love to eat fish but cooking it can be intimidating. This simple Petrale sole recipe can be adapted for other types of firm fish like cod, scrod, halibut and salmon.

Petrale sole is cut into ¼ - ½ inch thick fillets and cooks quickly. I cook it on one side placing the fillet side (not the skin side) onto a pre-heated pan and cooking just until the edges turn opaque. I flip the fish onto a hot plate to finish the cooking and to keep it warm.

The simple sauce is a mixture of lemon, parsley and capers and can be prepared while the fish finishes cooking. It can be dressed up with the addition of toasted almonds, hazelnuts or pine nuts. Soft herbs like tarragon or dill can be substituted for some or all of the parsley. When I don’t have capers I have substituted Castelvetrano green olives in their place.

I like to serve the fish with mashed sweet and German butterball potatoes and sautéed spinach.

4 servings

1 ¼ -1 ½ pounds of Petrale sole fillet (20 oz. for 5 oz. portions)
Extra virgin olive oil or canola oil to coat the pan

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ bunch parsley rinsed, dried and minced
2 tablespoons capers
zest and strained juice of 1 lemon
tiny bit of salt as the capers are salty
fresh ground pepper

Season the fish with salt and pepper and reserve. Preheat a sauté or grill pan over medium heat. I have also used an electric griddle. Just before adding the fish coat the hot pan with oil. Place the fish bone side down over medium heat and cook until the edges become opaque and the fish releases easily from the pan. Flip and cook one minute longer. It can also be placed on a hot plate and will finish cooking while resting.

To make the sauce:
Place the butter into a hot sauté pan and cook until the butter turns brown and smells delicious. Add the remaining ingredients cooking about 1 minute more over medium-high heat while the fish finishes cooking. Plate the fish on warm serving plates and top with generous spoonfuls of the sauce.